Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

After lopsided losses to Texas and Kansas State, Juwan Staten says West Virginia’s players need to be “more firm with each other” in practice.

 

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As K-State fans exited their Octagon feeling wholly satiated and West Virginia deep-sighed through explanations of a third consecutive loss, Juwan Staten continued his streak of patient postgame ponderings.

Saturday’s 78-56 loss was bereft of the feel-good traits that marked some of WVU’s more competitive losses, and Staten—his statistically superb junior season on the verge of being negated by a nonsuperb win-loss record—was asked yet again what the Mountaineers could do to right things.

First, that’s a tricky spot for Staten. After all, why would a 21-year-old point guard know how to retool a team when the answer eludes even his coach who’s four decades older and 700-plus wins wiser? But Staten offered a theory, one that involves him and sophomores Eron Harris and Terry Henderson pushing teammates harder.

“We’ve tried to be positive in practice, be role models in practice, but we might have to start getting on people a little bit more,” Staten said. “Once the coaches yell at you so many times, it turns into a thing where you start blocking them out. It really takes someone else to start drilling something into someone’s head. We need to start being more firm with each other.”

Clearly, all options are open right now, considering West Virginia has been dominated in its last two games by teams picked one spot ahead and one spot behind it in the Big 12 preseason poll. Whereas Texas and K-State opened this season with the same middling expectations as West Virginia, both are on pace to wind up with NCAA tournament invites.

West Virginia, which figures to be an underdog in 11 of its final 13 regular-season games, is on pace to record a second straight losing season.

Said Staten: “After playing two games and getting blown out like we have, we’ve got to change something.”

But what? In mid-freefall, where do the Mountaineers turn? Staten sounded rather coach-like by encouraging teammates to approach practices and game preparation with more passion. Zeal, however, becomes tougher to generate when swagger is slipping and confidence is reaching drought proportions.

As Harris admitted: “I’m just in a state where I don’t know what to do. I’m running out of answers for everything.”

The schedule does WVU a favor Wednesday night by bringing in Texas Tech for the return game. After that, however, the Mountaineers face a nine-game stretch against teams in the RPI top 43.

In case you’re wondering, WVU has dropped 18 consecutive against the RPI top 100.

The truth is we may have seen West Virginia’s ceiling this season—a team that on its best night can’t quite overcome quality opponents. And a team that on other nights has no shot at all.

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Comments

  • vanch

    The problems is, there are too many me first players on the team. They shoot even though they don't have a shot, instead of passing to someone that does. Huggs needs to sit these players down, no matter how good their supposed to be, and play the team players, not matter what.

    • William

      The only problem with WVU basketball is "Sweatsuit" BOB

      How can any true mountaineer be PROUD to have this guy as Head Coach?

      The ship is sinking and yes -
      I'M LOVIN' IT

      • hailey

        You are a weird little man

      • GoEers

        William you are a self proclaimed Marshall fan...go post about how great they're bball team is.

  • Master of One

    Everyone is invited to come to Morgantown and watch

    Oliver Luck’s “OLLIES FOLLIES” and his

    “THREE RING WVU CIRCUS”

    Featuring….

    The dynamic Duo….Bob “Sweatsuit” Huggins and…Dana “The man in Black” Holgorsen

    You and your family will get to see…

    Your favorite Mountaineer teams lose…week after week after week…guaranteed!

    Hear Bob Huggins in his smock pullover sweatshirt cuss like a drunken sailor and watch him continually throw temper tantrums.

    See the dysfunctional basketball Coaching Staff that looks like the “Land of Misfit Coaches”.

    Watch a crazed $500,000 a year Joe deforest parade the sidelines with his hat turned around backwards.

    Watch Dana Holgorsen over & over again throw a $1200.00 headset to the ground and destroy it.

    Watch AD Oliver Luck occasionally sneak into games and then spend most of his time keeping tabs on Junior.

    Watch WVU radio announcers Tony Caridi and Jay Jacobs announcing ball games that no one in West Virginia can find on the radio…or the internet.

    Watch the basketball team run up and down the court and then try to find “West Virginia” on the front of their jerseys which is printed in “White” which is the exact same color as their “White” jerseys.

    Watch Eron Harris run up and down the court in his bright fluorescent Green socks.

    Watch as the Mountaineer basketball players focus upon “development” rather than “wins & losses”

    All of this and much more for only $25.00 plus $20.00 parking and only $ 9.00 for each beer.

    • cutty77

      You forgot to bring up The 25 Million Checks we get from The Big 12.

      • OKANYDAY

        We haven't gotten any $ 25 million checks yet. Where did your information come from ?

        • cutty77

          Are right Einstien, how much did we get this year? We will get 25 within 2 years. IMG sales broke a record already for this year by 25%. With only a month on the job.

          • cutty77

            WVU is making More Money than ever before. Alot of people can't stand it.Does it help you win games,no but it softens the blow a little. WVU had been screwed by out of State and in State Companies for the last 25 years. Now we are getting our fair share.

          • OKANYDAY

            I did not mean to upset you cutty77. However, at the same time you appear to be one of the problems for not telling things the way they really are at WVU. Two years is a long time when you are paying bills every month. It would serve our WVU fans much better, if you would refrain from telling lies, like you just did above. And while you're at it, don't get mad at our people, out of your childish frustration for lying to our fans. You appear to be one of the problems, instead of the solution. Remember, the TRUTH hurts, and some of you glorified WVU fans, would prefer to wear blinders, than to speak the truth.

          • cutty77

            @ OKANYDAY,
            I see you didn't answer my question. You must work for WVRC. Oh i know you want to help all The WVU fans.

          • William

            I can care less about MORE MONEY.
            Are you getting any of it
            It should be about the sport and fans, as a fan I don't care about the MONEY
            Stupid fan comment - MORE MONEY LOL

          • GoEers

            Cutty these Marshall fans can't stand the fact hat WVU is in the BIG 12 which is a powe 5 conference. They can't stand the fact that WVUis currently making more money with partial revenue sharing in the BIG 12 than what they made in the old Big East. Once they are full revenue sharing members in 2016, the income will be $30-$35 million from the Big 12 tv contract and 3rd tier rights. WVU is one of the haves, while their faovrite team Marshall is a have not. They are Marshall fans so they don't quite understand these facts.

          • OKANYDAY

            I see that some of you(cutty & GoEers) are real fast to use the Marshall fans card, when some of us WVU fans don't agree with everything you guys "b s" our great WVU fans with. Some of you are so blind you can't stand anyone who question your "b s".

    • Tim walters

      Grow up. If Wvu sports bother you that much don't watch or support them. Remember Wvu sports can't compete in the big 12 in any sport but rifle fact of life.

      • William

        I love WVU Sports!

      • Ron

        They don't play rifle in the Big 12 but it looks like the girls basketball team is doing fine.

    • GoEers

      Big Larry...why did you change your screen name to Master of One (should be none). Is it because I and several other called you out for who you really are LAWRENCE TOMAS?!

      You can go ahead and post all your jealous hate filled crap about WVU, but the bottom line is you still are a jealous Marshall fan troll!

  • Aaron

    This team lacks qualities that previous Huggins teams have had. They struggle with defense, rebounding and toughness. Any of the 3 would improve this team. Two of the 3 would greatly improve this team and all 3 would make this a top 20 team.

    All one has to do to see that is compare this team to the final four team. Player for player, that team was no more talented than this one but they knew how to rebound, play defense and were tough as nails.

    Hopefully, experience will improve this quality in the current players on the roster.

    • jwg66

      As yee recruit, so shall yee reap. Anyone else notice that there are no Seniors & two Juniors getting minutes? Past recruiting risks, busts, and players that transferred have hurt badly. If this team can hold together, play D a bit better, shoot a bit better the W's will come. I also think the failure of Holton & Macon to qualify has left this team short of depth and inside scoring. We will be lucky to qualify for the NIT this year. Next year should be much more a top tier team.

      • Aaron

        Seniors on this team could be G-Noah Cottrill, F-Darius Curry and C-David Nyarsuk. Juniors could be F-Aaron Brown, C-Pat Forsythe, PG Jabrie Hinds, PF Tommie McCune, and SF Keyton Miles.

        Of the 8 players, three were 4-star recruits which combined with current 4-star recruits dispels the myth that Huggins cannot recruit quality players.

        What he needs to do is recruit quality players who can endure his practices and style of coaching which isn't for everyone.

        Macon and Holton not playing while going to class to indicate that perhaps they might be the type of players who can not only endure but prosper.

        • William

          Only way to FIX IT is to get rid of the problem
          Fire "Sweatsuit" Huggins

          • Aaron

            Why? You keep making claims that he is not a good coach but you've yet to post anything substantive to back up those claims.

          • hailey

            Huggins time has passed him by, kind of like William and old has been

          • Aaron

            I disagree Hailey. I've been around the game in one manner or another for more than 30 years and I think Coach Huggins has done some of his best coaching in years.

            When his players follow his instructions, they are successful. When they do not, they are not.

            Saying the game has passed him by is like saying it passed Bobby Knight or Dean Smith and while many said exactly the same thing, those with knowledge would strongly disagree.

        • jwg66

          I think you are seeing the same thing I am. Except I don't care about stars. I look for productivity. From what I can tell, D. Curry had health issues discovered after he signed with us. Cottrill never really contributed. Nyarsuk did not enroll. Clearly the other recruits transferred. But when a head coach cleans house, he has to know he is going to be young for awhile and while the tallent appears to be good, a few mistakes is all it takes to loose at this level. I really think we will be ok soon. We do need to stop the revolving door of attrition tho.....

          • Aaron

            I agree. I view West Virginia more as a mid-major type program in which they need stability to be good year after year. They are certainly not a top-tier style program that can bring in four and five star talent and be competitive year in and year out.

            Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and to some extent Kansas State can reload every year based on their name and their history. West Virginia cannot. They need to have players who are battle tested to lead younger players every year.

            As illustrated above, Huggins has essentially lost two recruiting classes. Regardless of the reasons why, this team don't have a DeSean Butler to lead the way or a Wellington Smith to provide toughness when no one else can. It is sorely missed.

            Of course you can't explain that to some of the individuals who post here. A few clearly have issues that far exceed their lack of understanding of the game basketball.

  • Ike

    I kind of agree with GrayWV. Problem is that we have no inside game on offense or defense. Devin is a 6'8" forward forced to play center with no help. Opponents control the paint and go straight to the rim. On a good shooting night, this team can be a handful for some teams, but without balance of inside and out, wins will be difficult. Good teams will beat 2 or 3 guys almost every time. I wish when we do get a rebound, the bigs would look for a stickback instead of re-setting.

  • OKANYDAY

    It's amazing that some people on these boards only want to here positive things about our WVU basketball program. No one wants WVU to win any more than I do. I'm not a good loser either. With that said there is something gone wrong in our basketball program at WVU, and it starts with the head coach. Bob Huggins has done nothing more than turn into a "slob" at WVU by his own doings. He has sunk to a new low with his cursing, abusive and less than amicable manner on the floor at home and away games. He dresses for a game now, just like he walked off of the practice floor. If you supporters continue to back Huggins that is your business. But while he is tearing down our school's image, he is also the laughing stock of many of our competitors. Bozo the clown, would get more votes to be our coach, than sleaze bag Huggins. I care about the long-term image of WVU, than I do about Huggins, who could care less about his image, character, or what we think. In order to build character, you need to possess some valid character; Bob Huggins does not portray any of this other than a cursing, screaming fool, who has seen his better days several years ago. Image and perception is not very good for WVU men's basketball. So all of you "Huggie" supporters keep on wishing for mediocrity, and his foolishness; I'm sure it will get better throughout the remainder of the year.

    • FFA MOUNTAINEER

      He's been unusually calm this year so I don't know what you are talking about

      • OKANYDAY

        It's obvious you don't see what I and others see. With all due respect to you, remove your rose colored glasses and you and others may just see something different. It's a funny thing to me, just a few people who love WVU understand what a few of us are talking about, when it comes to "Huggie" and his cursing, screaming and blaming everyone else or something else for the BB problems. The first thing is a good leader leads by good actions. When some of our fans are oblivious to the Huggins problems; then you are satisfied I would guess ! Believe me, he is a laughing stock at our competitor venues. Sit behind the bench at a visitors game, and you might understand how Huggins tries to motivate his team.

        • GoEers

          okandy day you only see what you want to see becuase you only focus on WVU because you hate them..you're not a fan. Last week on Sportscenter, Tom Izzo (Michigan St. coach..bet you didn't know that) was shown grabbing one of his players and cussing him out while the cameras were on him. Why don't you complain about that behavior. I've seen worse out of other coaches including Duke's coach. You call yourself a fan, but all you do is get on here and make disparaging/childish remarks about coach Huggins. If you hate him, then fine...don't watch WVU play, read, or post about them. Instead go read articles about your favorite team Marshall.

  • Ole Sasquatch

    Too much chasing on defense!!!

  • jay ziehm

    In my last sentence I meant to say thanks to you and your greedy ways Mr. Luck WVU will be a cellar dweller for years to come

  • jay ziehm

    lets face it some of the athletes recruited are academically ineligible before they even get here. rejects from other programs. as long as WVU is in the big 12 there will always be a problem getting athletes of high caliber to come to WVU. who would you rather play for Kansas, K. State a few others contending for a final four or WVU whose possible chance for a big 12 champion are slim to none. one final note HUGGINS treatment of his players has a lot to do with it, their humans not dogs. this effects recruiting as well should of never joined the big 12 to begin with. all they saw was money the heck with the athletes involved. cry some more about the travel schedule Bobby----dana and last but not least thanks to you and your greedy ways WVU will be the laughing stock of the big 12 for a long time to come

    • GoEers

      Must be a Marshall fan upset that there do nothing AD has their athletic programs stuck in C-USA. WVU will be just fine in the Big 12 in basketball, just like they were in the Big East when they won a conference championship and were also a runner up.

  • wvajoker

    "Diarhea mouth" William is at it again. He wants a coach with GREAT CHARACTER & CLASS.something even he lacks. In answer to your question, Huggs will be fired right after you are fired as a commenter on this paper. You are totally incompetent in everything except coming up with the ridiculous nicknames. Please get a life so us WVU fans could get some peace.

  • GFS

    I'm glad after the dreadful season last year, Huggs said he would fix it. Hmmmmm. I think the wheels are still off.

  • WVU FAN

    WVU needs to learn how to move the ball around to work our opponents defense like K-State work WVU..... simple & we don't need better players we need to be better students of the game.
    There is 101 ways to win games and this young WVU team knows about thirty ways....

    Let's Gooooooooooooo!! Mountaineeeeeers!!!

  • leroy j gibbs

    Apparently wv can't recruit more skilled players. We get what we can get and have to make do.live with it. Get used to it

  • William

    If you hire coach's with GREAT CHARACTER & CLASS, then you will get good players to come play for you.
    What do u think "Sweatsuit" Huggins problem is?

  • William

    7th season at WVU and this is the best team "Sweatsuit" Hugs can put on the floor?

    Huggins as be a big failure at WVU

    How bad does it have to get till "Sweatsuit" Huggins gets FIRED?

    • sput

      he will never be fired and u can take that to the bank and I know it eats you up and I love it

    • Graywv

      Sweatsuit william only has one topic-anti Huggins and WVU, are you so single minded that you totally forget two very BIG reasons why this team is struggling, both inside players(Mason & Holton) which, if you remember Huggins said from the beginning , would be the difference for this team "a big inside game to allow the outside shooters to excel", The freshman inside are still trying to learn to play DEFENSE. If anyone has been watching all the games this year you see a big difference in what officials call a foul on WVU BIGS, compared to the opposite team, maybe because their freshman, but its like Huggs said "I don't know what a foul is anymore", North Carolina is loaded with 5-star all americans anda great coach, but they sure are having problems-every team goes through this!

      • William

        I WOULD NEVER WANT TO SEE HOLTON IN A WVU UNIFORM.

        WVU FANS HAVE FALLEN TO A NEW LOW.

        STAY AWAY HOLTON, STAY FAR AWAY

    • The Wisetalker

      William,

      Yes Huggins is in his seventh season and yes...Huggins is a WV Icon...

      But these things take time...

      Give Huggins another 5 years and he will produce a winner...

      • William

        What, Huggins is a ICON?

        "Sweatsuit" is a mess!
        "Sweatsuit" is a EMBARRASSMENT!
        "Sweatsuit" should have been FIRED for what he said to the ref last year

        • Tom

          You keep bringing up "what he said to the ref last year." However, you never state what that is nor have I heard it referred to anywhere else. Figment of your imagination?

  • T.

    They just don't have the talent to compete in the Big 12. No matter what changes are made, it's a fact...Jack!

    • Greg

      Yet they competed well in the Big East, arguably the best college basketball conference ever created. Went to the Final Four under Huggs if I remember correctly. If Holton and Macon were available they would be a lot better. However, they'd still be young and immature and embarrassing themselves on a regular basis because they just don't know any better. Kinda like WILLIAM.

      • William

        yEP,

      • William

        Yep, WITH JOHN BEILEIN PLAYERS!

        YOU WANT HOLTON IN A WVU JERSEY --- LOL

        • Troll

          Doesn't matter who recruited the players it was Huggins coaching them, or in your simple mind I guess the coach didn't have anything to do with it it was the players. If you want to trash him for losing you have to give him credit for winning. And in case you don't remember Beilin left because he wanted to, who are you going to blame that on? I can't believe I lowered my standard of life so low as to respond to you but I guess life will go on.

    • don

      T. I have to sadly agree with you. We simply do not have big 12 talent. These guys are lite years ahead of last years team, but far from big 12 caliber. I hate to admit it but I can see us being the conference doormat for years to come. As someone commented before its hard to recruit quality players to a losing program.